When dental implants are inserted in the bone of a jaw, a surgical stent or surgical guide should be used to center it in the space where a crown or other prosthesis is being placed. It is virtually impossible to place an implant in its ideal location without using the surgical guide, and frequently results in the abutment being off angle with the overlying crown being lopsided. This can affect hygiene, function, and esthetics. See the following examples of implants placed in the lower right first molar in two different patients.
Case 1: An Ideally Placed Implant Using a Surgical Guide
Case 2: Implant Placed without Using a Surgical Guide
About the Author
Dr. Gerald Marlin is a Washington D.C. specialist in implant, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.